Locals on the job
Works at the Graham St campus of GV Health are becoming increasingly visible, with preparatory ground works giving way to the commencement of building at several locations around the site.
A number of local contractors - including carpenters, engineers and excavators - have been employed by the Lendlease Group.
Marc Quarrell, director of Marc Quarrell Excavations (MQE), has been involved with the redevelopment project from its beginning.
“We started working with Lendlease early on,” said Mr Quarrell. “We did some work on the temporary car park and have been fortunate enough to be awarded additional projects.”
MQE specialize in civil excavation, or earthworks. Mr Quarrell said his company has been hard at work on the construction of the In-patient Unit (IPU) tower, which will have a footprint of 1500 square metres, and will match the height of the new court house.
“We’ve been doing a lot of groundworks for the IPU, including preparation work for the piles,” he said.
Piles are dug by an excavation machine called a piling rig, which is essentially a huge corkscrew which drills to a depth of approximately 15 metres, removes the dirt and injects concrete to form the foundations of a building.
Based in Shepparton, MQE employ locally and also source their materials in the region. “It’s been really great for us, because we’ve got to employ eight local blokes,” said Mr Quarrell. “It means a lot of the money is going back into the community.”
JMB Constructions come to the GV Health redevelopment with experience gained working with Lendlease on the Bendigo Hospital.
“The project manager from Bendigo came over here to the GV Health job,” said James Briggs, JMB’s director. “We did the site setup, including the concrete in front of the engineering building, and are now working on the Central Energy Plant (CEP).”
Mr Briggs, who employs nine local tradespeople onsite, has been in the building industry for 15 years, working throughout the Goulburn Valley region.
He says he is excited by the current explosion of projects in the area.
“There’s so much going on,” he said. “The museum, the hospital redevelopment – at the end of this year, there’ll be $1b worth of projects in the Goulburn Valley.”
Managing Director of CPE Construction Damion O’Callaghan is also excited by the opportunities projects like the GV Health redevelopment offer.
“There’s so much opportunity in the region,” he said. “This is the best it’s been in terms of ongoing jobs in the last 15 years.”
Mr O’Callaghan, a qualified Civil Engineer with almost 20 years of experience in the construction industry, said he currently has up to 15 people on site, including tradesmen and engineers.
“We do plumbing, roofing and steel works,” he said. “This job is mainly around structural steel works for buildings.”
CPE Construction have been involved with the redevelopment project from the outset, and will eventually have been involved in around 80 per cent of the steel work throughout the redeveloped Graham Street campus.
These works include the upgrade of the In-patient Unit (IPU) tower and the new renal dialysis unit being built near the Glasshouse Cafe.
“That’s about 250 tonnes of steel across the entire project!” said Mr O’Callaghan.
One of the secondary benefits of the redevelopment project is the knock-on effect on businesses in the region. From purchasing equipment and supplies locally to employing workers from the region, buying and hiring locally means the new infrastructure benefits not only GV Health patients but also the wider community.
“We’re proud to be working on a project of this scale,” said MQE’s Marc Quarrell. “Lendlease and GV Health have been really good in employing as many local organisations as possible.”
JMB Construction’s James Briggs is thrilled about the benefits for the region.
“It’s something that’s been long overdue,” he said. ““We’re really looking forward to the future of the works. Our relationships with the engineering guys, the community and the staff are great.”
“It’s great to have a job that runs for a longer period of time,” said CPE’s Damion O’Callaghan. “It’s great for everyone – it gives us something interesting for the guys to work on, and also creates opportunities and attracts investment in the region.”
“The community will really appreciate this project when it’s done,” said Mr Briggs. “At the end we’ll have a brand new state of the art hospital.”